Saturday, 29 January 2011

Willow Tit (Poecile montanus)

Adult Willow Tit (subspecies P. m. kleinshcmidti) in Geddington Chase, Northants -  December 2015

Featured Subspecies: Poecile montanus kleinschmidti
Weight: 12-13g
Length: 10-13cm
Wingspan: 19cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The most pressing issue with the Willow Tit is the fact it is very very similar looking to the more common marsh tit, and indeed, often they can live in the same places and habitats. The Marsh Tit is by far the more common of the two around where I live, so generally, I tend to assume that a bird is a Marsh tit unless I have reason to doubt it. The are a few identifying features however - the pale panel on the wing and the roundness, which I've seen described as "bull necked" or "egg shaped". The real best feature for this species is the call, the standard call for each being very distinct - in the case of the Marsh tit, which is a fairly typical high pitched and slightly sneeze like tweeting, while these birds call with a deeper and more nasal "pchay chay chay". It's probably worth taking a look online to listen to the difference.  The is doing fine worldwide, it has suffered massive declines in the UK.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Paridae
Genus: Poecile
Subspecies: P. m. kleinschmidti, P. m. rhenanus, P. m. salicarius, P. m. montanus, P. m. borealis, P. m. uralensis, P. m. baicalensis, P. m. anadyrensisP. m. kamtschatkensis, P. m. sachalinensis, P. m. restrictus, P. m. songarus, P. m. affinis, P. m. stoetzneri   

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A widespread but scarce and local breeding resident (3,400 pairs)

 - Occasional single birds seen at Pitsford Reservoir and Geddington.

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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